Although cave excavations on Eilean Mòr have shown evidence of human settlement in Mesolithic times 8,000 years ago, the islands have been uninhabited since about 1920. From about 1810 to 1920 Eilean Mòr was home for several families, evicted from Applecross, but unwilling to take passage from Scotland to far-off lands. By agreement with the landowning Mackenzie laird they were allowed to settle on the islands and make what living they could by fishing, pasturing sheep, gathering kelp and farming. The drystone shielings left in 1920 are still on the island, though the valuable roof beams were prudently taken when the families left. There have been no trees on these islands in historic memory, so all timber had needs be imported, at high cost. Descendants of those island families still live in the mainland Applecross village.